While there are n number of reasons people wait for the year to end and celebrate the start of a new year, for football fans there couldn't have been a bigger reason to wait for 2022 as this is the FIFA World Cup year. The biggest multi-nation tournament of the most followed sport in the world will be staged in Qatar this year and teams will fight to be crowned the champions of the world. The 2018 FIFA World Cup final was played between Croatia and France and over a billion people are estimated to have seen France becoming the champions.
This year, the event will begin on November 21 with the final scheduled on December 18. This is the 22nd edition of the global event and since it was started in 1930 only 7 teams have managed to clinch the title. This time around, it will be another opportunity for a new team to grab hold of that trophy or will it be one among the former champions who will once again come out on top?
Here in this article, we look at 5 favourites to win the FIFA World Cup 2022:
The current England squad is not the same team who were mocked at for failing in major events despite boasting of some of the big names. While Gareth Southgate may not have superstars like the previous England teams but they certainly do know a thing or two about playing together as a team. They have shown precisely that in their last two major tournaments- the FIFA World Cup in 2018 where they ultimately lost to Croatia in extra-time and the Euro 2020 finals where they lost to Italy in finals.
The Three Lions find themselves placed alongside Iran, USA, and Ukraine/Wales in Group B and although it is not going to be easy once they survive this group, England could be a serious threat to reckon with.
The defending champions France are in with a chance to do something special. No team has managed to successfully defend their world champion tag since Brazil in 1962 but with this French team one gets the feeling that they might just be able to do that.
The biggest positive for this team is that there is no dearth of individual geniuses like Kylian Mbappe along with the likes of Ballon d'Or favourite Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba. Yet the fact that they were knocked out of Euro 2020 by Switzerland shows their vulnerability and exposes the loopholes in their game.
However, if they manage to play their best game with the several individual talents coming together as a team , it could be hard to stop them from claiming their third FIFA World Cup title.
Another team in with a real chance to do something special this year is Brazil. They are the five-time champions of the tournament and are yet again being rated as one of the favourites owing to multiple reasons. Not only do they have a great unit but they also have a great tactician at the helm in Tite.
Moreover, they finished the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers as the table toppers with as many as 45 points from 17 matches, even better than Lionel Messi's Argentina.
They would have until now gotten time to get over the 7-1 thrashing they received by Germany in the FIFA World Cup 2014 semifinal and certainly do seem lilke a better team on paper than the one they fielded in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But will they get a better result and perhaps even the World Cup with a spotlight on Neymar Jr? We will have to wait to find out.
Although some would argue that Argentina's win in their recent international assignments have little significance as far as the prediction in a World Cup is concerned, they would certainly be high on confidence. Moreover, they seem to have a happy atmosphere in the change room with a respect for the legend Lionel Messi common among his teammates.
Argentina won the Copa America last year and this year Messi inspired the La Albiceleste to 3-0 win over Italy as they were the Finalissima champions. Lionel Scaloni’s side have now stretched their unbeaten run to over 30 back to back fixtures which do make them an in-form team.
However, will they be able to do it on the world's biggest stage and under enormous pressure? Perhaps that will decide their fate in the FIFA World Cup.
Probably not the first choice for many fans in the favourites list but the current Spain squad are capable of surprising their opponents and catching them off guard. While Spain did not have the best of outings in FIFA World Cup after their winning campaign in 2010, they put on a great show at the Euro 2020.
Spain, in fact, lost to eventual champions Italy in that tournament in the semi-finals which went down to the penalties. While Spain have been consistent in creating goal-scoring chances, their area of concern has been able to put the ball at the back of the net.
However, that is for a later stage, initially Spain would want to proceed to the business end of the competition as they have been placed in a group which has the likes of Germany and Japan along with either Costa Rica or New Zealand.